This page has information for students who have just returned from an exchange experience.
Shoe boxing your memories: Over time you may find that your overseas study memories get shoved to the back of your mind and the experience will be forgotten. Try to keep these memories alive by sustaining friendships you made while overseas or posting your photos and thoughts on social media.
Relationships have changed: It is inevitable that relationships with friends and family will have changed, both positively and negatively, after spending time abroad. Your morals may have changed to reflect the culture of your host country and the best way to deal with this is flexibility, empathy and through conversation.
You may also find that people ascribe negative traits to the way you portray your post-travel self. This can stem from jealousy, fear and misunderstanding – so do your best to remain humble and open.
No one wants to hear: A common conversation after an overseas sojourn is “How was it?” and “It was good.” It is difficult to sum up your experience in one sentence or conversation as you will have had a multitude of experiences. You may also find that the moment you start rambling off stories from overseas, your friends lose interest. Try making friends with other returnees who will have an understanding of the importance of sharing stories.
You may share your experience and provide feedback in the social media to other students out there. This will help to improve the exchange programme for future cohorts of outgoing exchange students.